Jesse Harris / Jesse Harris & the Ferdinandos

The Secret Sun

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AllMusic Review by

Fans of Jesse Harris' Grammy award-winning work with Norah Jones may be surprised by The Secret Sun. Harris' long history of work with his band the Ferdinandos has a similar laid-back singer/songwriter vibe to Come Away With Me, but where pianos and acoustic basslines punctuated the Norah Jones album, Harris relies on subdued guitar distortion and countified twang. Much like fellow singer/songwriter Josh Rouse, Harris seems to be sweetly smiling while singing, and his summery melodies drift out across the acoustic guitars and gentle brushwork (courtesy of drummer Kenny Wollesen), giving the whole album a contemplative Sunday afternoon feel. The pace picks up in the driving "You Were on My Mind" and the rootsy "All My Life," but never breaks out into full "rock" mode, seemingly content to coast on a dusty August breeze. Although Miss Jones herself makes an unobtrusive appearance on the Jayhawks-y ballad "What Makes You," The Secret Sun is clearly Harris' album. Hopefully listeners will be able to enjoy it as such, and Harris will be able to be recognized on his own as opposed to being "that one guy who plays guitar in Norah Jones' band."

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